This week the devastating acts in Boston and the horrific fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas have hit me hard. Combined with the sad loss of a local family’s father who took his own life I have been extremely heartbroken.
My Husband is from the Boston area and I have walked through the locations where the bombs detonated. I recently took up running and ran my first half marathon in February. I have recently said half-joking, half-serious that when I’m 60 I will be able to have a qualifying time good enough that I can run in the Boston Marathon. Ties run deep and it shook me to the core.
But I kept going. I have 22 students and two children of my own who look to me for reassurance, provide a sense of safety and “all is right with the world.”
Then the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas happened. Every time I and/or my family travel along that part of I-35 we stop at the “Little Czech Bakery” for kolaches and Czech baked goodies. In early 2000 I worked as an administrator for a nearby town and athletic rival. I worked Football games on the very field that served as the triage location. I attended academic and athletic events as the administrator on duty in the Middle School that burned down. My husband in a previous job called on that very fertilizer plant. Ties run deep and this rocked my world.
Once again students and my kids looked to me for comfort and reassurance. Honestly I wavered. I tried to talk about it and my voice cracked, my eyes teared up, and I couldn’t keep talking.
I have been putting off my next blog entry as I have so much “professional content” I want to blog about. I honestly don’t know where to start. But then I read a blog I subscribe to http://topicalteaching.com/2013/04/21/6-messages-for-children-after-a-tragedy/ which talks about lots of ways to help kids deal with tragedies like this week. But the point that stuck with me was #6. Our simple and every day acts of kindness will make a difference.
After reading this I was looking at my fellow Facebook posts and right there was a picture of my very own students living out that very thing.
Amazing how your own students can do for others the very thing you try to do for them. Even more amazing is how they inspire you when you feel you’ve momentarily lost your ability to inspire others.
So today I changed my mindset. I am looking for ways to note random acts of kindness and do random acts of kindness. Below is another picture circulating on Facebook that shows how even the midst of a “job to do” human nature takes over and drives us to care for one another.
I am reminded how all of us have a responsibility to one another. As Bill Wilson states, “To the world you are one person, but to one person you may be the world.” So today I blog about what is all on our minds and the ache we have to heal our hearts. Matters of the mind can wait.
Finally, I leave you with the following picture. There were many unsung heroes this week, and they were all super heroes to me, the students that I teach and mold into great citizens, and my own children who continually remind me of the good in the world. Thank you for being what we all hope prevails. Let us be and remember the good, may it overcome the tragic.
3 thoughts on “Making sense of it all…”
Kirsten, what a wonderful blog entry… Really brought tears to my eyes… Thank you for sharing and teaching my son life lessons everyday and never giving up on him…. You are truly a blessing
I appreciate the fact that a blog piece I posted could inspire this brilliantly poignant post. Thank you for subscribing. Your message is extremely powerful and perfect for the times.
You are too kind! Thank you for your committment to blogging relevant and timely information. I shared your entire post with several friends, parents and our school counselor.